Euphemism: Paid donation

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By Mark Peters  

paid do·na·tion (n.)

Have you ever joked about selling a kidney to pay the bills? In Iran, you could do it — and without the stigmatizing term “organ sales.” The preferred term, translated from the original Farsi, is “paid donations.”

As the Los Angeles Times recently reported, Iran has a legal market for “transplant commercialism,” in which buyers and sellers can register with the government, which arranges surgeries and fixes the price — currently, at $4,600 a kidney. Government-regulated kidney-selling saves lives, allows for safer surgeries, and includes psychological screening for sellers, supporters argue. But they’re still eager to present the practice as something more than purely transactional.